Basketball During Covid-19

    Finding a way to have sports during the Covid-19 pandemic has been a big topic since the summer. How can we keep everyone safe while playing a contact sport? This is the big question that has been asked and talked about throughout the school year.  The cities’ and towns’ boards of health, school principals, athletic directors, and the MIAA have come together through many meetings. They determined some rule changes to make a season safer for everyone. The most important thing to the board of health was that all athletes wear masks and social distance as much as possible. There have been some but not too many changes to the game of basketball. A lot of players and coaches are just happy to be playing, and we can’t take that for granted. “The season could be canceled at any point, play every game like your last,” said Coach Laroche. As a player and a senior, knowing that my last season in high school could be canceled at any point is tough. So I’ve been grateful for all five games that we have been able to play so far.

    The game of basketball itself hasn’t changed too much, but some changes have been made for safety.  First, the season was cut in half, only giving teams ten games to play this year. There are 

    also no jump balls at the start of games. Instead, the captains meet at half court and do a coin toss. There have been also two major rule changes: when not playing we have to social distance as much as possible, and we have to wear masks at all times even while playing. Another big change is that there are no more under-the-basket plays, just sideline out-of-bounds plays. Says Coach Laroche, “This changes the way I coach the game. I don’t have to worry about under the basket inbound plays.”

    Covid has made daily life anything but normal. Basketball isn’t the same because there are fewer off the court team interactions that can really help a team bond, such as team dinners.  Coach Laroche said, “Good teams need to have a bond on and off the court, and they want to spend time with each other.”

    Coach Laroche feels that “basketball and hockey happening is a positive for other sports in the future being approved.” In fact, volleyball was recently approved by the board of health and football was also approved for the fall 2 season.  The many people responsible for making these difficult decisions are doing what they can to make these sports safe and to make the athletic program as normal as possible for student atheletes.